Involved Leopards

Ndzanzeni 4:3 Female

Ndzanzeni 4:3 Female

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Nkoveni 2:2 Female

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

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About the Author

Alistair Smith

Guest contributor

Alistair guided at Londolozi from late 2016 to late 2017. Despite only a short stint here, he made a great impression on the guests he drove and formed a great bond with tracker Euce Madonsela. His photography is excellent, and is a passion ...

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on The Week in Pictures #302

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Stunning pics this week Alister. Lovely to see the tailless Tsalala female. The Magingilane are realy starting to show their age. Great to see them back on Londolozi.

Hi Marinda thank you for commenting. The Majingilane are indeed showing their age, but still doing well to hold such a large territory.

All great photos but especially the one of the male lion at full speed – you have really caught the moment and the look in his eyes says it all……………!

Thank you Gillian. I don’t think I will ever forget that look in his eyes as he ran towards us at full speed.

Thanks Alistait for your magnificent pictures, they are stunning and many thanks for sharing the camera settings, this is super helpful for me amateur photographer! I have a few questions for you: one about the picture featuring the Mhangeni Pride with the buffalo(s): it looks very strange on my screen with stripes that almost like there is a problem with the picture. The other question is about the settings of your camera: I noticed that on many pictures you allow the ISOs to climb (3200) but speed was also very high (typically 1/3200) without any apparent need from the action to shoot so fast: is this deliberate or wouldn’t it have been safer for the picture quality to use lower speed in order to lower the ISOs?

Hi Sylvain thank you for your response. With regards to your first question, I’m not sure as to why you are seeing lines across the image, they certainly shouldn’t be there. With regards to the second question, quite often I am shooting with ISO-Auto, so I am allowing the camera to choose an appropriate ISO level based on the light available in a particular scenario. If the light is fading, the camera chooses higher ISO values, which in turn would result in faster shutter speeds even in situations where a fast shutter speed may not be required. In a situation where a subject is stationary, I will regain control of the ISO myself, choosing a value that is as low as possible, but as high as necessary, and I’ll keep monitoring how it affects my shutter speed. If you’d like me to answer any more questions you might have, please feel free to email me at I’d be happy to answer any others you might have.

oops apologies for the spelling mistake in your name Alister

Beautiful photos Alistair. I especially like the close-up of the elephant trunk. You’ve managed to capture life in the bush in a creative and sensitive manner. Thank you!

Hi Denise. Thank you for those kind words. It means a lot to me. What I love most about photography is exactly that.. being able to capture moments.

Fabulous shot of the Majingilane running toward you! Quick thinking, fast camera actionon your part! Dark-maned one? Whomever he is, he still looks magnificent!

Hi Mary. It was the Scar-nosed Majingilane. It took some quick thinking, but thankfully my guests and I were prepared for the shot, anticipating that it was going to happen.

Senior Digital Ranger

Wow I never get tired of seeing the Tailless Lioness & the Scar nosed Majingi! Your photos are stunning as always, thank you for sharing 🙂 Have a great weekend

Hi Wendy. Thank you for following my photography so closely. I appreciate your kind words. Have a wonderful weekend as well.

Senior Digital Ranger

Theses are wonderful photos, both the color and black/white for detail. The lone rhino at sunrise was beautiful but also reminds us of how vulnerable they are. Can you help me understand the number system (Nkoveni 2:2 female and the Ndzanzeni 4:3 female)? Thank you.

Hi Lucie, much like our human fingerprints, all leopards have unique facial markings above the whisker line on either side of the face. The numbers represented in the ratios (2:2) refers to the numbers of spots on either side of the face, two on the right and two on the left. It’s a way in which we identify the territorial leopards here at Londolozi

always look forward to “this week in pictures” Is the Tailless’ cubs still alive? If so, how old are they now?

well done Alistair! loved the photos!

This has got to be one of the best Week in Pictures I’ve ever seen! The two potraits of the Majingilane males are increbile (love the eyes of the scar-nosed one) and so was the wild dog one!! The light on the martial eagle in flight was perfect and the Tailess Female crossing the river was so serene. I really can’t pick a favourite! Really looking forward to the blog on night photogarphy!

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